Councilmember Jose Huizar Promotes a More Bikeable Downtown L.A.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar is excited about the future of bicycling in downtown Los Angeles. At a press event yesterday, Huizar took a test spin on one of Metro’s bike-share bikes. SBLA Streetsie-winner Huizar sees bike-share as one key feature of “a snowball effect” virtuous cycle for central Los Angeles: more bikes on the street will trigger more safety-in-numbers, which will prompt more city investment in bikeways, which will lead to even more bicycling.

Metro’s 1000+bike 60+station bike-share system is coming to downtown “this June – though it might slip,” according to Huizar.

Huizar recently announced that protected bike lanes will be coming to downtown’s Spring and Main Streets. These improvements are part of an umbrella “DTLA Forward” initiative for a more walkable, bikeable, livable downtown Los Angeles. DTLA Forward includes these two bikeways, pedestrian head-start signals, green alleys, street trees, and a handful of other worthwhile (but not quite transformative) downtown initiatives, plus a (quite transformative) “Your Downtown L.A. Vision Plan” [PDF]. The Vision Plan, created under the auspices of the Downtown L.A. Neighborhood Council with support from the So. Cal. Association of Governments (SCAG), calls for all downtown streets to be complete streets.

Spring and Main Street currently feature a couplet of buffered bike lanes. The Spring Street lane was the city’s first (somewhat controversial) green bike lane, and now its first partially-green pavement bike lane. The protected bike lanes are expected to be implemented in late 2016, after a handful of community outreach meetings. 

Councilmember Huizar demonstrates Metro's bike-share bike on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Councilmember Huizar demonstrates Metro’s bike-share bike on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

In other protected bike lane news in Huizar’s district downtown, the Los Angeles Street protected bike lanes are very much under construction. Curb work is visible on transit islands on the east side of the street. The 0.5-mile protected bikeway is expected to be completed by mid-May.

Construction underway on Los Angeles Street protected bike lane. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Construction underway on Los Angeles Street protected bike lane. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
  • LAguttersnipe

    Judging by the lack of investment from other cities that have bike share I’m not going to hold my breath for “improved infrastructure” but there are little glimmers of hope in DTLA.

  • …Huizar sees bike-share as one key feature of “a snowball effect” virtuous cycle for central Los Angeles: more bikes on the street will trigger more safety-in-numbers, which will prompt more city investment in bikeways, which will lead to even more bicycling.

    Every single time I’m in DTLA, there are swarms of people on bikes everywhere. But I guess since they’re not on brightly-colored, $3.75-a-pop Metro bikeshare bikes, they don’t count. That smells very much like classism and further proof that Metro is wasting $11mn that could be put to better use elsewhere doing what actually increases biking numbers and safety: building stuff. It’d be great if the Councilman and Metro would put more into promoting biking for all, not just those who can afford bikeshare. A great start would be to offer it as the local match for LA County agencies to apply to ATP, where it would’ve gone MUCH further.

    Speaking of building stuff, what are they building in the bottom photo? If that is indicative of what to expect from LA in terms of separated bikeways, that is a massive mistake. A quick glance at the photo shows that it is too narrow (it’s even narrower than the bus island), made that much more worse by using the straight 8″ curbing. At least this is a “pilot” so they can fix that mistake in the future and avoid repeating it elsewhere because if this becomes what is considered standard “best practice” in LA, we’re in trouble.

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